Lockspinning Mohair yarn for a bulky art yarn full of texure. This is wonderful weaving yarn. Read more…..
I am testing out a Majacraft Aura, an Art Yarn Flyer for my Louet S70, and a new flyer for my original Ashford Country Spinner. I am trying to decide which way I want to go for my Art Yarn Spinning.
First I was spinning art yarn on the Majacraft Aura with a regular head and the bamboo bobbins that are standard on the Aura. I tried to spin two styles of yarn. First I spun a lockspun bulky art yarn. And second, I spun laceweight yarn in a backwards long draw.
I have to say I was not pleased with either style of spinning. I felt that there is just not enough take up and draw in on an Aura when I spin at high speed ratios for a bulky textured yarn. If I were to spin slowly at a low ratio, it would might be just fine. I can already do that on my Ashford Country Spinner so no gain there.
It is a double drive hybrid set up. But the take up still feels like scotch tension and seems to still suffer from drag and inertia as the bobbin fills. The constant fiddeling with adjusting the brake as the bobbin filled up was beyond annoying and another fail for my tastes. And trying to spin laceweight in a backwards longdraw on the Aura, THAT was not happening. Epic fail on that one. End of story.
Second I used my Louet S70 ST using Louet Art Yarn flyer. I was spinning locks and tails in a bulky to super bulky art yarn and also trying for laceweight in a backward long draw. Same two styles that I tried on the Aura.
Art yarn flyer plus lockspinning on a Louet brings out my happy smiles. It was fabulous and worked like a charm. Don’t get me wrong though, I still think the flyer is ugly compared to my beautiful. Oak S70.
Next I tried using fast speed of 10.5 ratio on 3 speed bobbin to spin laceweight in a backwards long draw. It was so smooth and easy. No fuss and no musd. Just sit down and spin. Just how I like my wheels to be. Rather versatlie wheel with simple to work tension and braking.
Third I plyed bulky lockspun textured singles with my Ashford Country Spinner. I used a new flyer that was sliding rings vs hooks for the first time. So much better for plying large anounts of lockspun textured yarn than fighting those tails on the hooks. This is getting a yes from me as well.
I did not even attempt a laceweight in a backwards long draw on the Ashford Country Spinner. I have spun fine singles on the Country Spinner before but it required a lot of holding the yarn back to build up twist with its low ratios. That is impossible to do with a backward long draw as the take up is too strong on this wheel naturally. I had too many tests to do this weekend with my borrowed equipment to waste time on a test I knew was an epic fail to start with. The Country Spinner’s super power is art yarn and bulky yarns. It does poorly at high twist fine yarns.
Altogether after spinning on all three wheels, I am very happy with the Louet S70 the most. Happy is probably an understatement, I have found my wheel for most everything.
I just listed a new art yarn colorway in the shop. I have been working on this colorway for a while now.
The inspiration of this homespun yarn was a giveaway in honor of Honey bees and Beekeepers. It reminded me of the Wild Flowers that bees use to create honey.
The dominant color through out the handspun yarn is honey, gold, and greens in various shades with small bits of yellow and orange. This represents the bees and their honey. There are pops of pink and white with a little pale purple and blues here and there to represent the wild flowers in a field.
This yarn has so much texture and color. It is a Super Bulky weight, a textured yarn that is very workable on a set of needles for knitting and hooks for crochet. It would also be wonderful for use in textured weaving. I can picture this woven into a shawl, scarf or a wall hanging.
In fact, here is a scarf I wove using Honey color yarns that I dyed and a partial skein of this textured yarn. Look at the wonderful texture and contrast with the smooth lace weight yarns. So much fun.
Use it as the main art yarn in your piece or as an edging or accent for effect. Listed in the shop now and avaiable for purchase.
What is my favorite wheel for spinning yarn? Does it have to be one? It really does vary depending on what weight of yarn I want to spin, where I want to spin, and what will be happening around me.
I was asked recently what wheel was my favorite so far after embarking on a major test driving of many different wheels with various types of tension systems. I replied this:
It really depends WHAT I am spinning, WHY, and WHERE.
Art yarn production….hands down Ashford JUMBO E spinner.
Demo out in public for a festival where I am spinning locks for a long time, stopping and starting a lot…..Ashford Country Spinner 1. CS1.
Putzy for fun on my own or a spin circle locally for an hour or 2…bulky to thin….a vintage Louet.
Putzy but feeling funky and weird…spinning for an hour or 2….Moswolt M1. Medium to Bulky.
Hanging at home and spinning super fine…I prefer a supported spindle.
So what weight of yarn, where you want to spin, as in carry or move it far, all that does matter.
The single most common thing of all these wheels is that they are all simple tension and 1 or 2 speeds. Bobbin led or Irish tension for all of them.
If you want to spin most all weights of yarn but probably won’t do production yarn spinning, still want a portable wheel and don’t require bobbins to hold 2-3 pds of fiber at once….. You will need a versatile wheel.
If you do want to spin both fine and bulky capabilities…. I think I would suggest a Louet. If you are like me and prefer antiques or traditional looking wheels, try hunting for an older style. Maybe you would like a Louet S70 as much as I do.
A Louet is the most versatile out of the box with no extras wheel. Simple tensioning, uncomplicated wheels, accessories to spin fine or bulky if you want more past their regular accessories, and still portable and sturdy.
Most important….a Louet will NOT break the bank while you are learning and are easy enough to even pick up second hand. Parts are easy to get and not very many working parts to break to start with.
I am not a distributor for any dealer, so my suggestions are based on spinning a lot of wheels and seeing many comments of other people about their wheels and frustrations they have while spinning.
All of those wheels, I just sit down and spin without much fuss. Just how I like it.